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Prisoner has been screened in over 40 countries including Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Netherlands Antilles, Malta, Philippines, Poland, Seychelles, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, UK and USA.

Prisoner is currently being screened in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Malta, South Africa and Sweden.


The first episode of Prisoner was aired on February 27, 1979 at 20:30 on Network Ten (0-Ten Network) and the final episode was aired on December 11, 1986. The series was later repeated. On May 8, 1995 a second repeat of the series was started, but after being taken off for a Christmas break in December 1996, Network Ten has failed to keep its promises to put Prisoner back on.

There were plans to make a follow-up to Prisoner called 'Inside Out' but it was dropped before the pilot was even shot.

In 1997 Foxtel's pay-TV channel UK-TV (Channel 5) acquired the rights to screen all 692 episodes of Prisoner. The first episode was aired on November 30, 1997. It is currently being shown Tuesdays & Thursdays at 12:15 and Saturdays & Sundays at 23:30. A double omnibus edition is also shown Mondays at 14:00.

United States

To avoid confusion from mixing Prisoner up with the 1960s series 'The Prisoner', and to avoid being sued by the producers of that series, Prisoner was re-titled 'Prisoner: Cell Block H'.

The first station to air Prisoner: Cell Block H was KTLA, one of the big Los Angeles-based independent stations. After out-rating two of the three networks when being screened on a Wednesday evening at 8:00pm (the first time an Australian-made show had been seen in US prime time), the series ended up going into syndication.

Stations that screened Prisoner: Cell Block H include:

  • KTLA (Channel 5), Los Angeles (August 8, 1979-?)
  • WPIX (Channel 11), New York (1980-1981, cancelled after 274 episodes)
  • WLVI (Channel 56), Boston (1980-?)
  • KYW (Channel 3), Philadelphia (1981-1984)
  • KTVU (Channel 2), San Francisco
  • KOB (Channel 4), Albuquerque
  • WTTG (Channel 5), Washington D.C. (1980-1983)

It has also been shown on PBS, USA Network and Warner Cable.

In 1990 an American version of Prisoner, called 'Dangerous Women' was made. It was also produced by Grundy and had the same creator/executive producer, Reg Watson. The plots and characters were very similar to the ones of Prisoner, but the focus this time was on six women gaining their release from prison and adjusting to life outside.


Global TV Network in Toronto started airing Prisoner in the end of 1979 under the name 'Caged Women'.

New Zealand

In May 1981 New Zealand's TV1 began showing Prisoner twice a week at 14:30. It is currently being shown on SKY 1 on Saturdays and Sundays at 16:00 and on Saturdays just after midnight.

United Kingdom

Prisoner is known as 'Prisoner: Cell Block H' in the UK as well.

Prisoner: Cell Block H started showing in the UK by some of the ITV broadcasters in the mid-80ties. One of the first broadcasters to put PCBH on air was Meridian (then TVS), the ITV broadcaster for the south and south east of England, who showed the first episode on October 11, 1985. PCBH has since been shown at least once in most of the other ITV-regions.

Meridian is currently the only ITV broadcaster still showing the series. They are showing Prisoner every Monday night at 23:30. Episode 570 was shown on March 8, 1999.

On April 1, 1997 Channel 5 started showing Prisoner: Cell Block H 7 nights a week at 04:40am. After changing time slots for Prisoner to 23:30 Channel 5 cut back on episodes to 4 a week. When Prisoner was returned to it's original time slot the episodes were increased to 5 a week but since the start of April Channel 5 has cut back on episodes to only 2 a week! (It is now shown on Saturdays and Sundays only). Episode 500 was shown on April 4, 1999.


A German version of Prisoner, produced by Grundy, called 'Hinter Gittern - der Frauenknast' (~Behind Bars - The women's prison) is currently showing on RTL. (A 'Hinter Gittern' book and a video with the first two episodes are available from amazon.de)


Polish satellite broadcaster Polsat bought the rights to show Prisoner in 1993.


Prisoner is currently showing every Monday-Friday at 12:05pm on TVM.

South Africa

Prisoner: Cell Block H is currently showing on SABC 1 every Thursday at 21:00 with a repeat the next day at 10:45. Episode 100 was shown on March 11, 1999.


The series is known here as 'Kvinnofängelset' (~The Women's Prison).

The first episode was shown on September 7, 1994 on TV4. It has since been shown three times a week, late Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights (usually starts around 01.05-01.10 Tuesdays & Thursdays and around 00:50 on Saturdays). Episode 600 was shown on April 20, 1999.


Maintained by Anders Nicolaysen.
Last updated 1999-04-26.
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